“The Violets of March” was an excellent way to begin the month of March. Sarah Jio used vivid imagery as she intertwined both the story of Emily finding love after a divorce, and a tragic lover affair of her ancestors that took place in 1940. The book was interesting, and Emily was a perfectly balanced protagonist, not too sad about the divorce, but not too eager to move on either.
When Emily escapes to her aunt’s house in a small town in Washington for a month to rediscover herself after finalizing her divorce, she is amazed to find that the two men she had crushes on in high school are still single and living on the island. It was enjoyable to watch Emily rekindle the old flames, but at times there was a bit too much discussion about past events. I kept thinking- You are not in high school anymore, so get over what happened twenty years ago! (This is my biggest complaint with books lately.)
While Emily’s storyline was good, I found myself much more eager to read the story within the story. Emily finds a journal written by Esther, who is married and has a baby, but loves another man, Elliot. As Emily learns more about Esther, she begins to discover more about herself, her family, and the inhabitants of the town. When Esther becomes pregnant with Elliot’s baby, she makes a decision that has consequences on many people and ripples for decades. This story was excellent and original. I could have read an entire book about Esther’s love affair!
The book was filled with characters, at times it even seemed like too many, who were portrayed in a realistic manner. Some of the conversations were a bit too convenient and often did nothing more than provide information quickly. But overall, I accepted it because it moved the plot along at a good speed.
I liked the book and would recommend it to those seeking a read with serious themes. This is not a light book, but rather it contains themes and issues that are emotional and thought provoking.